Operation Manhunt stepped up to track down serial burglars

Images released by police in connection with a series of burglaries across south east England, below the car police believe was used by the offenders and further e-fits in relation to the burglary spate
Images released by police in connection with a series of burglaries across south east England, below the car police believe was used by the offenders and further e-fits in relation to the burglary spate

Detectives investigating a series of more than 30 distraction burglaries targeting the elderly have renewed their appeal for information.

Police have re-released images of the people they would like to speak to in connection with the crimes, as well as also releasing more information and a photo of the distinctive vehicle which they believe has been seen at the scene of some of the crimes.

This car is thought to be linked to a series of burglaries in the South East

This car is thought to be linked to a series of burglaries in the South East

The burglaries have taken place in Buckinghamshire, including one in Aston Clinton where an 86-year-old woman was targeted, as well as in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Essex, Berkshire, Surrey and London.

The victims have been mainly aged in their 80s and 90s, with one victim aged 94.

In the majority of cases, the crooks created a false reason to gain entry to the property to steal, such as investigating a burst pipe, or repairing a water leak.

In Aston Clinton two men walked down the garden path to an address in the village and approached the victim saying they wanted to look for a ball in her back garden.

E-fit of a man believed to be involved in the burglaries

E-fit of a man believed to be involved in the burglaries

She refused them entry and they then walked away.

It is believed the people responsible are operating in a team of three or four.

The car – a three-door silver Audi A3 sport – is distinctive because it has a sunroof which is not a common feature on the model, and officers believe a number of cloned number plates have been used on the vehicle during the offences.

Det Insp Ben Wright of Operation Manhunt, leading the investigation, said: “We would ask people to look again at these images and please contact us if they can identify these men, or the vehicle pictured.

“We believe these men, who could be from the Islington area, could greatly assist the investigation.

“With the car in particular, we’d ask people to contact us if they believe they have sold this car to anyone, may have seen any suspicious incidents involving the vehicle, or have seen it parked or abandoned.

“Please do get in touch as soon as possible.

“Any information, however small it may seem, could prove vital to the investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the police non-emergency number 101, quoting Operation Park, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.